email drip campaign raindrops

Close More Leads with a Killer Email Drip Campaign

An email drip campaign is a highly effective method of lead conversion. But there’s a catch. You need to segment your audience to reap the insane benefits. If you blast your entire list, you are sure to see a significant number of unsubscribes because users today insist on personalized content to stay engaged with your content. Hard-sell messaging and aggressive sending intervals will backfire if you do not plan well. 

Fortunately, this article will share how you can do this the right way and keep all your hard-earned list members.

Marketers who use segmented campaigns note as much as a 760% increase in revenue.

Treat Your Email Drip Campaign Like an SDR

Not all small businesses have sales development representatives (SDR) to prequalify and warm up leads. If you create your email drip campaigns using the same tactics a salesperson would use: respectfully building rapport and providing value; email can warm them up so your sales team can close them when they are ready. You will need to prepare your emails thoughtfully and deliver middle of the funnel (MOF) messaging that helps with their decision.

Steps to a Successful Email Drip Campaign

Setting your campaign goal is always the first step. This could be nurturing new leads, customer retention, or brand awareness. If you are targeted and specific, the process will be much easier. 

Create Quality Content

Most likely, your email list subscriber is at least in the middle of their journey. They must have converted in some manner to enter a list, right? Hopefully, you haven’t purchased your list or scraped it illegally. There are far too many hazards to this practice and we do not recommend it. 

Determine the best content to include in your email drip campaign specific to this segment. 

Ask yourself,

  • What content topic did they convert on
  • What is the next information they will need
  • What do you want them to do next

Measure Your Content Objectively

All business owners, myself included, fall too in love with our products and services and tend to lose objectivity. When you create content for your email drip campaigns test them to be sure they are meeting these goals. 

Is your email content: 

  1. Valuable to this target segment
  2. Relevant to their point in the buyer’s journey
  3. Easy for this reader to understand
  4. Guiding them to a logical call-to-action
  5. Optimized for mobile

Integrate Your Sales Workflow Into Your Email Drip

All these emails need to lead somewhere; ideally to a sale! Now is the time to clarify your internal team definitions of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL), Sales Qualified Leads (SQL), and Sales Accepted Leads (SAL). Every company is different. Here are some examples to help guide you. 

  • MQL = leads that have subscribed to our newsletter but have NOT downloaded any other content or attended our events
  • SQL = leads that have downloaded targeted content or attended our events
  • SAL = leads who have had at least one sales meeting and sales has confirmed they are BANT (budget, authority, needs, and timeline) qualified

Determine Lead Ownership

This is an often overlooked step that can create chaos, departmental animosity, and lost leads. How can something like ownership cause this? Let me provide a real-life example that I encountered with one of my clients.

email drip campaigns

Case Study on Lead Ownership Workflows and Marketing Automation Company Industry: Enterprise Software
Size: ~100 employees
Structure: Internal Marketing and Sales Department

This company marketed very well to a highly targeted market. Their ABM campaigns worked very well at generating leads. And while they had a well-defined pre-qualification workflow, their marketing automation triggers were not aligned with their prospect’s actions. Leads were being called by their SDRs (SQL) without their call notes connecting back to the email marketing system. Like many companies, they had two separate platforms - Hubspot for email marketing and Salesforce for CRM, but they failed to integrate automation rules across the two platforms. This was allowing the drip campaigns (MQL) to continue endlessly even after a lead had been qualified.

When the lead was BANT qualified, their SDR would schedule a demo with an account executive (SAL). This should have stopped their marketing emails so the sales team could own the communications towards closing. Leads that were clearly at the bottom of the funnel were still receiving emails that communicated middle of the funnel messaging.

email drip campaigns integration with other channels chart

The moral of this story is to take time to integrate your marketing and sales systems. Whether it’s by using field mapping or Zapier, it’s important to have a plan so leads are receiving the right message.

How Many Touches Does Your Drip Campaign Need

Intervals can be tricky to nail down as your prospects are unique to your industry and sales cycle. Testing is the best way to know for sure what’s working with your campaign. The number of touches you need depends on how much of the right content you can deliver. B2B companies can schedule one email per week and no more than five emails per month. B2C companies can get away with more as their sales cycles are usually shorter. Decide how many touches you need to effectively prepare your audience for your offer and when they will be ready to talk with sales.

Always Optimize Your Email Drip Campaign

Whether you have a complex set of handoffs like our Case Study or a simple all-in-one CRM, checking how each email is performing is important. You should concentrate on open and click-through rates, unsubscribes, bounces, and conversions. These metrics will help determine how qualified your leads are for this campaign and whether your content is meeting the value measurements mentioned above. If you see a significant spike up or down, take note and make corrections.

Email drip campaigns are critical to helping move your converted prospects further into your sales cycle. However, don’t forget about email nurturing which is your long-term brand awareness campaign. When a lead completes your email drip campaign sequence don’t just stop sending to them. Set up automation rules so they off-ramp your drip campaign and on-ramp into a relevant email nurture campaign, like a newsletter. 

Email is only one element in this process. 

In case you missed it, check out our 2022 B2B Guide to Attracting Qualified Leads. It includes a micro-course email drip campaign to walk you through the process so you can fill your funnel and automate your lead nurturing.

B2B Guide To Attracting Quality Leads

Don’t waste your valuable time on the wrong leads.

B2B lead generation guidebook cover